He might not be as fast as he used to be, but Ginebra veteran playmaker Jayjay Helterbrand made it known that he is still capable of making big-time shots when the need arises.
The Fil-American Helterbrand sealed his 40th birthday celebration with a vintage effort that lifted the Kings from a 16-point hole on the way to a thrilling 88-86 win Friday night.
Sporting a long hair this conference, Helterbrand fired 11 points, all in the final canto, going 4-of-4 from the field.
His fiery performance reinvigorated his long-time backcourt partner Mark Caguioa as the “Fast and the Furious” combo doused cold water on the Bolts’ electrifying charge in the third quarter to level the PBA Governors Cup title series at 2-2.
“Yeah, finally I got to to play a little bit in a crucial game, me and Mark (Caguioa), and the rest of guys were able to put a stamp on the game,” said Helterbrand, who was serenaded with a Happy birthday sing by Ginebra’s fans after the game.
“All glory goes to God, this is all orchestrated by Him. It’s because of Him this happened.”
While he may not be in the best of shape, Helterbrand, Ginebra’s direct-hired player in 2000, played like he was a player straight out of college.
“I don’t even know what happened. I tried to give my team the lift and provide the energy,” he said. “The intensity’s different, the speed is different, as you can see, I’m not in that good game shape.”
But Helterbrand believes that they were able to summon Ginebra’s well-known never-say-die attitude after sticking on their defensive stops.
“We tried to focus on the defensive side, tried to pressure them a little bit, speed up the pace so we can come back with the intensity. Our offense is gonna handle itself, focus on defense, whoever has the best defensive plan’s gonna win the championship,” he stressed.
Now two wins away from ending the franchise’s eight-year title drought, Helterbrand braces for another all-out war against the Bolts in Game 5.
“The rest of the guys stepped up and we were able to get the victory, its a step closer to the goal, tough game on Sunday,” he said. – Jason Mercene
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